“Close people”. Zelensky does not consider attracting his friends to power as nepotism

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky does not consider attracting a large number of his friends into a pro-government team as a manifestation of nepotism. He told this in an interview with the 1+1 channel.

Answering the question why there were many of his old friends and acquaintances in his entourage, he reported that he relied on them because he could trust them.

“As for the friends, they are close people, that is why they were in my team. Who can you trust to”, – Zelensky said. According to him, for example, the appointment of Serhiy Shefir assistant to the president or Yuriy Kostiuk deputy head of the President’s Office is connected with the events in the Donbass.

Zelensky told that the former head of the Luhansk Regional State Administration assured that the bridge was being built in Stanytsia Luhanska, “and you go and see that nothing works here”.

“That is why my I invited my assistant Serhiy Shefir, Yuriy Kostiuk to the information policy, then my old friend, but he is a professional lawyer Andriy Yermak and my assistant Maria. These are four people. By the way. None of them has a relation to my family”, – Zelensky said.

Statements by the head of state that the appointment of long-standing friends who are not direct relatives to high posts is not a manifestation of nepotism has signs of manipulation. In particular, the Encyclopedia of Law interprets nepotism as official patronage provided by an official mainly to his relatives, close entourage or friends.

In addition, the list of “close people” of the new president is not limited to four friends listed by him. So, for example, current head of the SBU Ivan Bakanov is a school friend of Volodymyr Zelensky. The executive branch and deputy corps also have many old friends of the president and former business partners.

As previously reported, presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky promised during the election campaign that, unlike the old regime, his team would not use nepotism. “Who likes when the president appoints godfather of his children or army friend?”, – he said in a video on Instagram in reference to army friend of Petro Poroshenko, leader of the PPB faction Ihor Kononenko. Of course, a close person to the ex-president, to whom Poroshenko could trust, but who obviously “has no relation to his family”.

(C) OSTROV 2019

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